This blog post was written by Kathy Reschke, Child Care Leader at Military Families Learning Network. What’s the difference between positive stress, tolerable stress and toxic stress?Why is it pointless to reason with a child in the middle of an emotionally charged moment?How can child care providers be a “buffer” to young children who are experiencing the stresses of military family life?These and many other topics were addressed in a recent webinar hosted by the Child Care group of the Military Families Learning Network. Presenter Dr. Diane Bales walked us through what stress is, how it affects young children in military families, and a number of strategies that child care professionals can use to ease that stress and lessen negative impact. The presentation also included excerpts from an interview with Dr. Will Mosier, faculty at Wright State University and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Will shared helpful information on supporting children emotionally during stressful times.WEBINAR LINKHere are some key points that I thought were particularly helpful for child care professionals to know:Stress is any external event or circumstance that “throws us off balance,” that significantly changes our everyday experience. Stresses can be positive events as well as negative events. For example, having a parent return home from a long deployment is a very positive event, and yet it significantly changes up the child’s usual daily life. Until a “new normal” is established, those changes, even though they are positive, can be stressors.Stressors cause physical and emotional responses and changes in all of us, including even very young children, that our outside of our control. In the short term, those responses can help us be alert and take action. But when stressors are overwhelming or persistent, children need additional support to bring those physically and emotionally intense responses back down to more normal levels. That’s where child care professionals can play a critical role for children in military families. Caring, knowledgeable, and sensitive providers can provide the extra support and attention to a child during the child care day that help insulate her from high levels of stress responses that all of the family members are dealing with when big changes occur.Helping young children cope with stressful situations isn’t complicated. Children are comforted and supported by simple but intentional strategies.Predictability and routine in the child care environment provide a sense of security and confidence to a child who is dealing with unpredictability and change at home. That predictability and routine include maintaining the usual rules and consequences about behavior. Though we may be tempted to “go easy” on a child who misbehaves when we know there are big changes at home, being firm and predictable in response will actually provide assurance and a sense of safety to him.Listening and showing empathy to a child’s emotions, without psychoanalyzing or presuming where those emotions are coming from, is very often all that’s needed for a child to regain a sense of equilibrium and calm.Young children often don’t know the words for the emotions they are feeling and can be frightened by their intensity. We can help by not only showing empathy but by giving them labels for the emotions they are feeling. This includes positive emotions, like excitement and happiness, as well as negative emotions, such as sadness or anger.I hope this whets your appetite for more! If you visit our “Learn” page, you will find a recording for the entire, hour-long webinar and a link to a PDF of all of the slides so that you can print them out, make notes, and have them for future reference. You’ll also find links to related resources that can help you in understanding the stresses of young military children’s lives and more ways that you can provide that safe, caring place that will help them cope with their current situation and build their resilience to stressors in the future. Here’s the LINK.And if you have your own stories of supporting military children and families through difficult changes, or you have more suggestions for building their ability to cope, we’d love to hear them!
Date: November 1, 2016Time: 11:00am -12:30pm EasternLocation: Retirement Ready? Effective Strategies for Military Families Part ICC Pixabay, modified by Bari R. SobelsonThis is a collaboration between MFLN Family Development, Family Transitions, and Personal Finance. Dr. Sharon Danes, Dr. Barbara O’Neill, and Dr. Kacy Mixon will be providing information, resources, and tools necessary to assist families in making a smooth transition from Military to Civilian life. This webinar will cover the upcoming Blended Retirement System, types of retirement savings plans, the emotional and mental health perspective of retirement, and retirement transitions- decision making for the future. Join us on November 1 at 11:00am Eastern! Family Development will be offering 1.5 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Georgia Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (GAMFT) CEUs for this webinar. For more information, click here. Additionally, Personal Finance will be offering 1.5 general CEUs for FinCert Certified Personal Finance Counselors (CPFC) and 1.5 CEUs for AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselors (AFC). For more information, click here.There will be a follow-up interactive session the following week where questions from part 1 will be addressed and discussions will ensue. You won’t want to miss this!For more information on Military Families Learning Network and the programming that we offer, please visit our website or connect with us via social media: (Facebook & Twitter)Family Development: Site, Facebook, TwitterFamily Transitions: Site, Facebook, TwitterPersonal Finance: Site, Facebook, Twitter
Inside Smoke’s Action Node is a true 3D Lens Flare tool. We’ve got 15 FREE custom Lens Flare presets for Smoke 2013. Enjoy!The Pre-Release Trial V2 has just been released for Smoke 2013.The NEW version has several exciting features added to it, as well as many bug fixes. Autodesk is listening to all of the user feedback, and as a result the Free Trial has been extended to December 2012. Some of the new features include a Desktop Paint option with tracking and Autopaint, as well as many other clip based tools for deinterlacing, audio mixdowns, resizing, and denoise. Grant Kay from Autodesk has put together a quick introduction video to the new tools.You can download the Free Smoke 2013 V2 Trial here. If you have already been using Smoke 2013 V1, then there are some things to note before installing V2.Warning: Smoke 2013 Pre-Release 2 Projects are not compatible with Pre-Release 1. Once you install V2, you will lose access to all V1 projects and clips. So if you have projects in progress, finish them before you update. See What’s New in the Smoke Help for a list of the new features, and the Release Notes for all the fixed and known bugs.Now, onto the free lens flares!FREE CREATIVE LENS FLARES FROM PREMIUMBEAT.COM FOR SMOKE 2013The lens flares inside of Smoke’s Action Node are true 3D lens flares. They contain all of the high quality lens flare behaviors you expect from other great lens flare generators like Video Copilot’s Optical Flares.The flares react to frame borders and motion blur. Since Action is a 3D compositing environment, it has natural object occlusion. The occlusion is simply based on the Z position of the light in relation to other objects in the scene. What could be easier?Custom Lens Flares in Smoke 2013 are created using a procedural method. There is a central Lens Flare Node where you connect any number of Iris, Glow, Streaks, Glints, Ring, and Lens Textures.Each texture element then has a set of menus to allow you to design the look of the flare. You can attach any clip media as a Diffuse Texture to the flare elements, and that media will then be used as part of the flare. For instance if you put a Smiley Face logo on the iris, it will react like an iris refection in the flare.I have created 15 custom lens flares that you can add to your Smoke 2013 projects. Feel free to modify them as needed to suit your needs. They are simply a starting point for you to work with. You can never have too many choices! Some are quite normal and others are more abstract.To Install:Unzip the file and place the setups anywhere you want. You can navigate to them via the Smoke Media browser. If you want them to be with the default Smoke Flares, then place them in /usr/discreet/smoke_2013.1_PreRelease2/lensflare/presets/custom/If anyone has any questions, drop a comment below.CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD free custom Lens Flares for Smoke from Premiumbeat.com
Adobe Audition isn’t just for Premiere users. In this post we show you how to integrate Audition into any post workflow for powerful audio editing.I have written several articles on Adobe Audition in the past, but decided to start from the beginning for video pros who haven’t yet worked with this audio editing application. Although Audition integrates with Adobe’s Premiere Pro video editing application, you can integrate it into a Final Cut Pro 7 / X or Avid Media Composer workflow as well.In this post we’re going to focus on the features of Adobe Audition and how it connects to other video editing apps.Why Audition?Many editors use After Effects for their motion graphics and visual effects, because it is a speciality tool. Sure, you can do many of the same things in a video editing application, but After Effects is a more powerful toolset that is optimized for motion graphics work. The same can be said for Audition for audio. Yes, you can work with audio in all the popular editing apps, but Audition gives you more power, control and speed for common tasks.If I’m doing anything besides simple clean up and leveling, I use Audition because it has powerful audio features not found in an editing app. Some of these are the ability to change track color, clip/group color, lock tracks in time, match clip volume and automatic speech alignment. For video tutorials, Adobe TV is a good starting place to see what Audition can do.Noise Reduction, Presets and the Effect RackAudition does a great job with reducing unwanted noise. It offers a variety of tools that work on broadband noise (consistent frequency) including the Noise Reduction and Dehummer effect. For sounds like ringing phones and sirens (varying frequency) the new Sound Remover Effect in Audition Creative Cloud does wonders. Streaming Media has a tutorial on how Sound Remover works and other new CC features hereAudition offers a lot of Effect Presets, which Premiere Pro doesn’t. The Audition Presets can be helpful for editors who don’t really know where to start.Fellow PB blogger Aaron Williams recently covered notching EQ in Premiere Pro to make room for your dialogue. Great tip, but I prefer to do it in Audition, as there is a EQ Preset for this (Effects > Special > Mastering).There is also the Effects Rack, which lets you combine up to 16 effects with presets for common tasks like voiceovers.Working with Video Apps (Adobe & others)There are two ways to send files to/from Premiere to Audition:Send an individual file over from Premiere Pro, make changes, then the changes immediately update in Premiere Pro. I previously wrote an article on the details here.Send a Sequence over from Premiere, make changes, then export a mix or individual tracks (stems) back to Premiere Pro. I previously wrote an article on the details here.You can also export an OMF from Premiere Pro. This is handy when you want to hand off the Premiere Pro Project to an Audio person on anther machine (or send directly to audition on your computer and then collect the audition files for them.) Check the Premiere Pro Help for the steps.Likewise, After Effects has built-in roundtripping functionality with Audition:Send an audio file from After Effects to Audition (in AE choose Edit > Edit in Audition). Make changes, and they immediately update in After Effects.Todd Kopriva from Adobe also covers the basic process here.Send a video with audio file over from After Effects (Edit > Edit in Audition). Make changes, and manually add the audio back in After Effects. Chris Meyers has 2 video tutorials on this process at Pro Video Coalition.Although Apple’s Final Cut Pro doesn’t work as seamless with Audition as the Adobe video products, there are still ways to integrate it into your video editing workflow:Audition can also import OMF files from FCP 7. You export an OMF from FCP 7 that can be imported into Audition. Larry Jordan has a tutorial on how that works here.It is a little more complicated if you are using FCP X (maybe the new version slated for a December release will fix this). Export an XML, then convert it to FCP 7 XML with the $50 app Xto7 for Final Cut Pro, open in Premiere Pro, connect to Audition via Dynamic Link.Lastly, you can export out an OMF from Avid for use in Premiere:From Media Composer, Export as OMF. However, Avid seems to be moving forward with AAF (which Audition doesn’t support) and away from OMF. This post from an Avid forum covers the workflow.
Want to learn more about Final Cut Pro X? Check out the Final Cut Pro section of the Premiumbeat blog! Check out five essential Final Cut Pro audio editing tutorials that will help you increase your turnaround time!Mixing and mastering audio is a challenge for a lot of professional videographers and filmmakers. But that doesn’t have to be the case, thanks to this handy roundup of essential Final Cut Pro audio editing tutorials.1. Audio Basics in Final Cut ProCreated By: Larry JordanIn this clip, Larry Jordan takes us through the workflow of editing a project in Final Cut Pro X. He hits incredibly important topics such as audio techniques, settings, effects and working with music. This is really just a back-to-basics tutorial, which any professional needs every now and again.2. Managing Audio Levels and EditsCreated By: Benjamin HalsallThis tutorial from professional video editor Ben Halsall goes over some essential tips for audio management in Final Cut Pro X. He goes over audio levels, mixing production music, and how to edit audio for techniques such as L cuts.3. Keyframing Audio Effect in Final Cut ProCreated By: Soho EditorsIf you’re looking for professional Final Cut Pro X editing tips, then you’d be hard pressed to find a better source of information than Soho Editors. They are the #1 post-production agency in all of Europe, and their training courses are used by thousands. In this video, we’ll learn audio keyframing basics.4. Adding Sound Effects Into Your TimelineCreated By: Dan AllenIn this tutorial, Dan Allen goes through the process of adding sound effects in Final Cut Pro X. Allen demonstrates how to download the additional content for Final Cut Pro X, in addition to spotlighting FCPX’s Music and Sound Browser. Remember: you can also import outside sound effects by going to File > Import.5. Advanced Audio in Final Cut ProCreated By: Michael WohlMichael Wohl is no stranger to Final Cut Pro X. He’s a professional editor, director, and producer who has used FCPX for many projects. In this video from Michael Horton’s YouTube channel, Wohl goes over advanced audio techniques in Final Cut Pro X.
Mash-up Music VideosUpon viewing the clips, it’s evident that these videos offer a lot more flare than what you can obtain using memoji tools. There are excellent compositing and motion graphics included within the ads. However, over the last year, we haven’t seen any official releases from artists, only mashup music videos like this one:This user has built an entire channel by taking popular music and creating memoji music videos. With 165 thousand subscribers in less than 12 months, this is no easy task.“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X Featuring Billie Ray CyrusThe song, whether you’re a fan or not, has continued to break streaming record after streaming record. Which is why, up until now, it’s been surprising that there hasn’t been an official music video. The original track was released with an accompanying video of Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay, and the remix was released with just a static picture of two horses. The artist has since tweeted that fans are to expect an official music video next week. But, before that release, fans were treated to this:A memoji video of “Old Town Road.” Yes, it’s as bonkers as that sentence was to read. Unlike the grandeur of Apple’s ads, this Memoji music video just features the two animated artists, along with an abundance of relatable emojis. I’ve perhaps never seen a more primitive music video, and yet it works so well. It capitalizes on popular culture with how the majority of online users communicate using iconography, without sacrificing the playfulness of the track.More importantly, I think this video highlights the simplicity of creativity in an age where everyone is trying to do more and go bigger. With just a set of precomposed icons, the team was able to reel in millions of views and thousands of positive comments. Of course, we can’t discount the popularity of the song influencing these numbers. But as several fans have stated on Twitter: “If this is the official music video, I’m ok with that.”I think it’s easy to scoff at such a basic premise, especially when the video may appear inherently childish due to the animated characters. Regardless, the video is undoubtedly a living example of how creativity has no limits. What was conceived as a tool to share memes or to call your auntie as an animated blue character has instead turned into a viable means to make low-budget music videos with nothing more than an iPhone.How long until we see the first memoji film created by an online content creator?Create Your Caricature: A Tutorial Learn the origins of memoji music videos and check out our favorite viral hits. Bonus: we show you how to make one of your own.In 2018, with the release of iOS 12, iOS devices that had Face ID gained a new feature called Memoji. If you have been entirely oblivious to this new feature, or the online content it’s spurred, it’s Apple’s tool to create an animated emoji character based on your facial movement.As you can fully customize the appearance of your memoji, the feature became an instant online hit. Users can create Memojis with the appearance of characters in movies and viral videos, then copy the dialogue of a scene to later replace it with the film’s audio. These short fun videos are good snippets of entertainment to pass the time while you wait for the train.As someone who admittedly doesn’t like to appear on camera for tutorials, I thought about using a memoji as an on-screen avatar to give my tutorials a face. But it was a fleeting thought, and besides, my iPhone couldn’t support this feature.Then, earlier this year, Apple started to release ads for their Apple music Grammy campaign, using Memojis to create short music videos for the current leading pop stars.“7 Rings” by Ariana Grande “Simple” by Florida Georgia Line “Talk” by Khalid Top image via Lil Nas.Want more filmmaking tips? Check out these articles:Lighting in a Pinch: Five Tricks Using Your Mobile PhoneSet Tone and Atmosphere by Mastering the Establishing Shot7 Things Clients Look For in a Video Production CompanyFirst-Time Filmmakers: How Do You Build a Cast Without a Budget?Four Reasons You Should Use (and Love) Your Camera’s Stock Lens
The key to a successful podcast is establishing a unique-but-consistent image and tone. Here’s how royalty-free music tracks can help.Invented alongside the iPod back in 2004, the podcast has, in the last few years, seen an epic resurgence. The truth is, you don’t need much to start a podcast. A microphone, basic audio editing software, a topic, and some willing participants are all you need to get a podcast going. But, it can be hard to stand out in a crowded podcast market.So how do you make an impression on a listener who takes a chance on your podcast? The answer is twofold: first, make great content, and, second, have a great intro song. Here’s the good news, though, Premium Beat has a great selection of songs to choose from.How to Pick a Song for Your PodcastThere are a few ways to find the perfect song on Premium Beat. To sort through a list of great songs, this curated playlist has a collection of podcast intro-worthy songs, which should lead you in the right direction. While this is the easiest way to find a song, there are other ways that offer more variety.You can search the PremiumBeat music library by genre.On PremiumBeat’s home page, hover over to Genres, where you’ll find all manner of different genres, such as chill out, easy listening, and games. Each genre presents a wide selection of curated songs for your listening, but if you prefer to choose by mood, PremiumBeat has that too.Moods are another popular way to search PremiumBeat’s library of royalty-free music.The Mood tab on PremiumBeat’s website offers an assortment of different moods for every situation. Murder Mystery podcasters can look through the Crime/Thriller/Spy mood, while comedy podcasters can sort through the Comedy/Funny mood.Searching by keyword or instrument is the best way to get specific results in your search.If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, try typing in a keyword in the search bar. Keywords can be anything, so if you’re looking for a song with a specific instrument or mood, this is your best bet. Whether you’re looking for a suspenseful song or something more lighthearted, PremiumBeat is sure to have what you’re looking for.How Licensing WorksLicensing for podcasts is simple. For $49, you can use your PremiumBeat song as much as you want in as many projects as you want, in perpetuity. Take a look at the licensing page for more information. Once you have the license, you’re free to use the song however you like, and you won’t have to worry about paying a recurring fee.PremiumBeat is the Right ChoiceEvery standout podcast needs a standout theme song.To reiterate, for a podcast to stand out, you need a great intro song. PremiumBeat has a large collection of songs that can suit your needs and a straightforward licensing agreement. But more than that, PremiumBeat eliminates the frustration that comes with creating your own custom song.If you don’t have the budget to hire a musician to create a song for you, PremiumBeat gives you the chance to still find a track that is right for you. Sure, there is free music out there, but PremiumBeat’s composers are music professionals who make music for major advertisements and TV shows. So, browse the PremiumBeat collection and improve your podcast with an awesome intro song.Cover image via radioshoot.Looking for some quality royalty-free music playlists? Check these out.Support Your Documentary Vision with a Thoughtfully Considered SoundtrackPower Up Your Gaming Videos and Twitch Streams with Royalty-Free MusicFuel Your Audience’s Fears with Eerie Royalty-Free MusicKeep Your Customers Calm and Engaged With the Right Royalty-Free Hold MusicSaddle Up With This Royalty-Free Playlist for Westerns
If you are going to be successful working from home, you are going to need to intentional about your work, your learning, and your relationships with your team and your leaders.
Newbie: PDP candidate for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat and Chief Minister Mehooba Mufti’s brother Mufti Tassaduq (in glasses) meets voters. NC’s prospectus in Srinagar received a shot in the arm when PDP rebel leader and former Member of Parliament Tariq Hameed Karra joined his party. In the 2014 parliamentary polls, Mr. Karra, then a PDP candidate, defeated Dr. Abdullah with over 40,000 votes, a first ever defeat faced by the NC president.Unhappy with the PDP’s alliance with the BJP, Mr. Karra evoked Islam to seek votes for the NC. “It’s jehad to defeat the PDP-BJP.”Heavy-weight Dr. Abdullah is pitted against PDP’s recent-entrant Nazir Khan, a former Congress leader who gave a close fight to the NC working president Omar Abdullah in the Beerwah Assembly constituency.Fifteen Assembly segments of the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency will vote this time. Of the 15, seven Assembly seats have NC MLAs, while eight have PDP MLAs.In the restive south Kashmir’s Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency, it’s first-timer Tassaduq Mufti, son of PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, versus J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir, who is a joint candidate of the NC-Congress alliance.The civilian killings and injuries to over 15,000 other during the five-month unrest in 2016 is weighing heavy over the polls in south Kashmir.Mufti bastionThe Congress hopes that the growing anger and alienation, triggered by the 2016 unrest in the wake of militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing, will turn into an anti-PDP vote in otherwise a Muftis bastion. “There have been killings before 2016 too. If one traces the history of unrest in Kashmir, it goes as far as 1953. Our poll plank remains implementation of the Agenda of Alliance (AoA), which talks about peace with Pakistan and talks with all stakeholders including the Hurriyat,” PDP spokesman Mehboob Beg told The Hindu. The Congress has made its plan clear too. “Both parties, the NC and the Congress, have come together to defeat the RSS and the BJP. It’s not for power but a sincere effort to stop the march of communalism and bigotry from entering Kashmir,” said Mr. Mir.As a highly volatile south Kashmir is going to the polls on April 12, all parties have maintained a low-key public campaign so far. Mr. Tassaduq, a Bollywood cinematographer who worked in movies likeOmkara and Kameenay, recently asked his party workers “not to risk lives for his win”.Mr. Tassaduq, in his recent interviews, refused to talk about the larger political question of Kashmir and restricted himself to working for an “internal change” on the front of ecology, development and tourism.“I will fight for truthfulness,” said Mr. Tassaduq, whose prospects largely depend on the political capital earned by his father rather than his own image. It remains to be seen if that political capital has taken a dent in the wake of the PDP’s alliance with the BJP since 2015. The upcoming Lok Sabha by-elections to the Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha constituencies will see a contest between the National Conference-Congress alliance and the Peoples Democratic Party over the Bharatiya Janata Party’s growing regional aspirations.NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who on Monday filed his nomination papers for the Srinagar seat which is gong to the polls on April 9, called for stopping “the fast spreading fire of communalism and polarisation”.Terming the PDP “an affiliate of the RSS”, Dr. Abdullah said: “It will engulf our values and rob us of our rights, our sense of dignity and our special constitutional status. Unity against these forces is the need of the hour.”The NC has already taken pot shots at the PDP over the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as the UP chief minister. “Congratulations Mehbooba Mufti. Your friends & allies have chosen a man who called for the dead bodies of Muslim women to be raped as CM.”
Filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak today claimed that he was denied entry into a city mall for wearing a dhoti. This was denied by the mall authorities.A Facebook post by the director, which triggered outrage in social media, said, “Denying entry into the neo-colonial clubs of Kolkata is nothing new. But today I was denied entry into the… mall because I was wearing dhoti (which I have been wearing for the last 26 years). On resisting and questioning I was told they had orders because of security reasons to prohibit entry of people in lungi and dhoti. I was later allowed in because I could argue in English and assert myself. This is unambiguously a new low for this city.”When contacted, the mall’s authorities denied the charges. They said security personnel had asked the director to wait while they went to seek the supervisor’s view. He was then allowed entry.
The Election Commission on Saturday asked the Chief Secretary of Gujarat to submit a report on Monday, inquiring into the Congress’s allegations against the BJP that the latter has been engineering defections of its MLAs in the State. Simultaneously, the EC has directed the State government “to ensure proper security to all the MLAs and their family members”. Money powerThis comes in the wake of the Congress flying out most of its MLAs in Gujarat to Benguluru, ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls. It also follows a meeting that the Congress team, led by the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, had with ECI officials here, when they accused the latter of using “money and muscle power to engineer and manipulate defections/ resignations”. In a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner, the Congress said that three of its MLAs in Gujarat, Punabhai Gamit, Mangalbhai Gavit and Ishwarvhai Patel, were approached by the BJP and its agents “to defect in consideration of monetary allurements”.
A former woman assistant professor of IIM-Rohtak has accused the institute’s director, Dheeraj Sharma, of sexually harassing her and seeking sexual favours.A case has been registered against the director at Rohtak’s women police station on charges of assault to outrage the modesty of a woman and making sexually coloured remarks.The 35-year-old complainant told the police that Prof. Sharma began sexually harassing her soon after her appointment to the post of assistant professor on September 1 last year on a probation period of three years. She was dismissed from service on May 10, almost a month after she complained about Prof. Sharma’s behaviour to the institute’s board.She alleged in the FIR that the director would make indecent remarks on her private life, looks and clothes. She further alleged that he would ask her out for evening strolls and even groped her inside her cabin on one occasion.Women’s police station SHO Garima said the FIR in the case was registered on May 29. “Prof. Sharma is yet to join the investigation. But the IIM authorities told us that they had already informed the area police station expressing apprehension that the assistant professor might level false allegations against the faculty after she had been dismissed,” said Ms. Garima.Speaking to The Hindu, the complainant said long before going to the police she had written to the IIM board’s chairman, the HRD Ministry and even the Prime Minister’s Office, but there was no response. She alleged that the director continued to put pressure on her to withdraw the complaint and when all his efforts failed, he sacked her without “assigning any reason”.IIM-Rohtak in an official communication said that the complainant was terminated a month ago and “she is doing this to defame the director and the institute”.
A day before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi at Sevagram ashram in Wardha, the party said on Monday said it will blow the bugle to fight for a “loot, lie, fear and divisive forces-free India”. “This is the place where the Mahatma Gandhi-led Congress executive committee in 1942 gave the call for Quit India movement. Today, as the BJP runs an anti-people, arrogant and oppressive government, the time has come to give a call to free India from the clutches of the BJP,” he said. He alleged that the Narendra Modi-led Union government is behaving like British rulers by looting the natural resources of the country, allowing fraudsters to run away, destroying democratic values, oppressing marginalised sections of the society and maligning the image of the country.The Congress leader said Tuesday’s CWC meeting would mark the “beginning of new fight against the ideology of the BJP that is anti-Gandhi and adopt a new resolution by walking on the paths of Mahatma Gandhi”.The CWC will assemble at Sevagram in Wardha on Tuesday to offer prayers. This will be followed by the party meeting at Mahadev Bhavan. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will lead a three-kilometer padyatra in Wardha on Tuesday afternoon, before addressing a public rally to announce on the party’s future plans ahead of the 2019 elections.On the Rafale dealMr Surjewala said that his party has put three questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal. “We have asked certain questions and expect that the Prime Minister does not become ‘maun Modi’, but will answer those in front of the people. Him being quiet would mean admission of guilt by silence,” he said. Commenting on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar’s recent statement on the PM’s integrity viv-a-vis his role in the deal, Mr. Surjewala said he has clarified that the statement was misconstrued. “Why shouldn’t we believe him? He has also asked the same questions as our Congress leaders about pricing and formation of JPC. Why should we go in to other details then?” he asked. Asked whether Congress’ views on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and that of Pakistan resonate with each other, Mr. Surjewala said that both RSS and Pakistan complement each other. Both these forces are divisive, extremist and support violence. “Just like the manner in which British and BJP regimes are identical, it seems possible that both these forces are complementary to each other,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir recorded a 71.1% polling in the second phase of panchayat polls on Tuesday. Despite the cold wave in the Valley and Ladakh, voters queued up outside the booths since the morning. “An overwhelming 80.4% polling was witnessed in the Jammu division and 52.2% in the Kashmir division,” Chief Electoral Officer Shaleen Kabra said.Kupwara in north Kashmir registered the highest 69.7%, while Anantnag in the south, once the bastion of Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, saw just 1% polling. “Voters here are dejected about the failure of the Centre and the State to adopt a policy to resolve the political problem of Kashmir. Even the PDP is hated by many for allying with the BJP. Besides, daily killings of civilians and militants also made participation in the polls difficult,” Ghulam Muhammad Dar, a resident of Anantnag, said. Kargil recorded a 66.5% polling and Leh 66.3%, with election staff trekking over snow to deploy ballot boxes at an altitude of 4,870 metres in areas such as Lingshed.A total of 4,014 candidates are in the fray for 281 sarpanch seats and 1,286 panch seats. “Ninety sarpanchs and 1,069 panchs were declared elected unopposed,” Mr. Kabra said.Kashmir witnessed a 64.5% polling and Jammu 79.4% in the first phase.
Rajasthan Director General of Police O.P. Galhotra was shunted out on Thursday in the first reshuffle of IPS officers carried out by the newly elected Congress government in the State. Mr. Galhotra, whose handling of the law and order situation in the State was found wanting by the Congress, has been replaced by 1983-batch IPS officer Kapil Garg. Mr. Garg, who is the most senior IPS officer in the State, was serving as chairman, Police Housing and Construction Corporation. Mr. Galhotra has been shifted as Director General, Home Guards.Jaipur Police Commissioner Sanjay Agarwal also received the marching orders, with new posting of Additional DG, State Disaster Response Force, in the transfer list of 17 IPS officers released by the State’s Personnel Department.Anand Kumar Srivastava, Inspector-General of Police, Kota Range, was shifted as the new Police Commissioner in Jaipur, replacing Mr. Agarwal. Dinesh M.N., discharged in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case last year, was transferred from the post of IGP, Bikaner Range, to IGP, Intelligence-I, Jaipur.Among other officers, Special DGP (Law and Order) N.R.K. Reddy was shifted as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice, Jodhpur, and Mohan Lal Rathar from Additional DGP, CID (Civil Rights), Jaipur, to Additional DGP (Law & Order), Jaipur. Deputy IGP, Crime Branch, Jaipur, Sanjay Kumar Shotriya, was shifted as Deputy IGP, Chief Minister’s Security and Vigilance, Jaipur.The transfer list of IPS officers came two days after the Congress government’s first bureaucratic reshuffle on Tuesday, in which 40 IAS officers were shifted.
About 70% of the men in Bogidari, one of a cluster of 22 villages largely inhabited by migrant Muslims in the Bhangnamari area, have worked or are working in the coal mines dotting Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills.While the mining season across Meghalaya’s coal belt is usually from October to March, miners often work during non-season monsoon months for extra money.Mr. Sheikh worked every year until the National Green Tribunal banned rathole coal mining in April 2014. “I worked only once after the ban just to pay off a loan of ₹30,000 from a small finance bank. I realised the risk was no longer worth it.”‘Lack of options’But poverty and a lack of jobs still drive local youth to risk their lives. One of them was Nizdamugaon’s Mohammad Saher Islam, who is among 15 miners still trapped in the water-filled illegal coal mine at Ksan in the East Jaintia Hills district.“He had a debt of ₹4 lakh after a trader took 12 truckloads of bamboo from him to make incense sticks,” said Mohammad Abdul Mian, Mr. Islam’s 60-year-old father. “He had worked in the mines once 10 years ago but had vowed never to go back after he got married. This time he decided to take a chance to pay some labourers he had engaged for the business.”Before going to work in the mines, Mr. Islam took a further loan of ₹30,000 from Bandhan Bank. His father said he was now under pressure to repay unless he could his son’s death certificate.“I have given up hope as no one trapped in those mines has ever come out alive,” he said. “Local officials said I cannot get a death certificate in Assam because he died elsewhere. I don’t know if Meghalaya will give me one, since I am told he was engaged in illegal work.”Though the tragedy has shaken the Bhangnamari area, with three of its villagers trapped in the Ksan mine, many are still willing to take the risk as a lack of local options forces them to look elsewhere for sustenance.“Frequent floods and sand deposited by rivers such as Mori Manas has made the farmlands lose much of its fertility,” said Noor Kalam, a former coal mine worker willing to “take the plunge” again. “The inputs for growing a crop are higher than the output.”“One does not die every day in a coal mine,” Taijuddin Ahmed of Nizdamugaon, remarked wryly. “And the money earned, which depends on the coal extracted, is much more than other industries pay,” he added. Mohammad Hussain Sheikh recalls how a letter from the sirdar (manager and mine supervisor) of a Meghalaya coal mine in 2002 had helped him heave a big sigh of relief. It simply read: “You are hired. Come before the season starts in a few days.”Mr. Sheikh, now 48, was desperate for a job after a crop failure made him default on a loan from a local moneylender. While he had only borrowed ₹10,000, he owed more than twice the amount in interest alone.“I really needed a job,” recalled Mr. Sheikh, a resident of Bogidari, a village about 140 km west of Guwahati in western Assam’s Chirang district. “An agent said I could make good money if I work in the coal mines. I found the work risky, but did not regret my decision to take it up.”Also Read It is a question of livelihood: owners
A leading water expert has questioned the government’s report on ‘Auditing of Irrigation Projects in Maharashtra State’ considering the lack of a ‘water budget’. Pradeep Purandare, a water expert and former professor at Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI) has written to the chief auditor pointing out that, “water audit at present has become a farce in absence of water budget, measurement of water, area irrigated and other relevant parameters including water account at irrigation division.”Water auditing is being done since 2003-04 and this is the fourteenth report where analysis and evaluation of available data on 2504 projects is being conducted. “If one reads between the lines, it is crystal clear that water budget (Preliminary Irrigation Program, PIP) is not prepared in most of the projects. And wherever PIP is prepared, it is prepared mechanically to finish off an annual ritual. Instead of stating this well-known fact, the water audit report states that ‘in spite of constant persuasion the field officers have not mentioned PIP figures in WA template’,” said the letter. Mr. Purandare said the water budget is one of the most crucial parts in any irrigation project, as it plans the availability of water for a particular sector. “When the basics are not ready, how is an audit being done?” he asked.In his letter, Mr. Purandare points out that theft and unauthorised use of water is rampant in the State and if not considered in the audit it makes the report lose its credibility. “In fact, it becomes an exercise in futility because the very purpose of water audit – accounting for every drop of water – gets defeated. Moreover, it leads to manipulation of all other data,” said the letter. It has also pointed out that no water audit reports were prepared on time from 2012 to 2016.
What Surveys Have Told Us About U.S. Social Mobility Raj Chetty of Harvard University and Emmanuel Saez of University of California (UC), Berkeley, created a big media splash last summer with a study showing that social mobility—the income status of adult children relative to their parents—correlates with where the children grew up. The study, based on an analysis of millions of U.S. tax records that had been largely off-limits to researchers, has fed the public perception that the American dream of equal opportunity for all may be fading. It also bolstered the reputations of the two young superstars—each has received the top prize for economists under 40 and a MacArthur “genius” award. And it has left their colleagues wondering how they pulled off such a feat.“It was very entrepreneurial of them to get access to the data, which is not normally available,” says Gary Solon, an economist at Michigan State University in East Lansing who has done pioneering work on social mobility using small data sets from surveys, the traditional approach to studying the topic. “You need the energy and perseverance and connections. My guess is that it was probably some combination of skill and luck.”Solon’s hunch is right, according to the U.S. IRS, which described the unusual arrangement in a series of e-mail exchanges with ScienceInsider. Solon and his fellow researchers aren’t driven simply by idle curiosity: Access to government administrative data that can be linked to surveys may hold the key to unlocking the causal factors behind social mobility, an important but poorly understood phenomenon. But a host of issues, from privacy to cost, are complicating efforts to tap such troves.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A tweak in the tax codeThe story behind the Chetty/Saez paper begins in 1987, when the IRS started requiring taxpayers to list the Social Security number of every dependent listed on tax returns. The new rule, a trivial component of a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system, was designed to stop parents from claiming imaginary dependents that would lower their tax bills. And it worked: Several million fewer dependents were listed on 1987 tax returns.Chetty was 9 years old at the time and living in India, and Saez was a teenager in France. After a meteoric rise through academia—Chetty was granted tenure at UC Berkeley at the tender age of 27, for example—they earned their academic spurs with a series of theoretical and empirical papers on how various government policies influence human behavior.Tax cheats hadn’t been on their radar. But a few years ago they realized the change in the IRS tax forms made it possible, for the first time, to link millions of children with their parents’ tax records. Those children could then be followed into adulthood and, thus, be part of a study on intergenerational mobility. After persuading the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy that such a study could shed light on whether local tax and spending policies affect social mobility, the team was given the chance to work directly with tax records.The researchers began by examining tax returns filed in 1996. They identified a core sample of nearly 10 million children born between 1980 and 1982 (14- to 16-year-olds). The researchers then tracked the children until approximately age 30 and compared their family incomes with those of their parents. They calculated the parent’s income by averaging total family income over 5 years, from 1996 to 2000; for the adult children, they measured income in 2011 to 12. The team then ranked the incomes of both parents and adult children in relation to their peers and divided each group into quintiles. In a last step designed to tease out geographical differences in mobility, they assigned the children to the city in which they were living at age 16; in all, they study included 731 localities spanning the entire country.To simplify their results, the researchers calculated the chances that a child from a family whose income was in the lowest quintile in the 1990s will have jumped into the top quintile by age 30. The national average was 7.5%, but the percentage varied greatly by geography. In San Jose, California, 12.9% of the children who grew up there managed to make the big jump (putting it at the top of a mobility list of the 50 largest U.S. cities). In contrast, those from Charlotte, North Carolina, brought up the rear, at 4.4%.A second study, drawn from the same database, found mobility has remained relatively constant over time in recent decades. Specifically, they reported that the probability a child born in the bottom fifth would leap to the top fifth was 8.4% for children born in 1971, compared with 9.0% for those born in 1986. The conclusion, based on a younger cohort born in the 1990s, draws upon both the children’s income and a proxy involving any amount of college attendance. Chetty says that the two estimates “exhibit very similar trends” and that the researchers therefore rely on income “as our main estimate.” But many social mobility researchers question the value of such a proxy and say the results about trends are much less persuasive than the work on regional variations.Getting their hands dirtyThe process that allowed Chetty and Saez to work directly with the IRS records was routine, the two researchers say. “We got access to the tax data through a standard call for research proposals from IRS,” Saez told Science in an e-mail. Declining to answer other questions, Saez acknowledged that the team, which included Harvard’s Nathaniel Hendren and UC Berkeley’s Patrick Kline, took a path rarely trodden by researchers. “They unfortunately have very little funding,” he wrote about the IRS, “and hence can only accommodate a relatively small number of researchers.”A research solicitation that IRS issued in the fall of 2011 attracted 51 proposals, according to Barry Johnson, head of the special studies branch of the Statistics of Income division. Some 19 were accepted, Johnson says, and 16 studies were actually carried out. And the vast majority of researchers supported by the IRS were required to follow a protocol that allowed them to use the information without actually handling the microdata itself.“We were given a dummy data set, with random numbers, to test our program,” explains David Grusky, a sociologist at Stanford University in California and director of its Center on Poverty and Inequality. “Once we’re confident the program is working, we ship it off to the IRS and someone there does the run. After checking to make sure no confidential information is included, they send the output back to us. And we shuffle back and forth until the project is done. It’s a little cumbersome, but it works.”Such an arrangement is far from optimal, however, say scientists not involved in the IRS research program. “It’s a bit awkward, a bit clunky, to get dummy data to debug your programs,” explains Miles Corak, an economist at the University of Ottawa who has helped develop data sets on social mobility for the Canadian government. “The problem is that you don’t get to dance and play with the data, and someone else runs it.”Chetty and Saez were spared that inconvenience by, in effect, becoming part of the IRS workforce. IRS decided that the researchers needed to come to Washington as needed because “the econometrics were quite technical and a great deal of work was required to assemble the needed data,” Johnson says. Once that decision was made, the academics agreed to “submit to fingerprinting and a complete background check, undergo training in the proper protection of administrative data, and be subject to the same rules and penalties that apply to any IRS employee.” They also worked under the supervision of the Treasury Department; one employee, Nicholas Turner, was even listed as a co-author on one of the key papers.At the same time, IRS required the authors to receive prior approval of any papers or presentations based on their analysis of the restricted data. “The IRS does not in any way attempt to influence findings,” Johnson writes. “The review is limited to ensuring that the data have been described and used correctly. [That is] a standard feature of peer review.”That policy does not exist at the government’s de facto statistical agency, the U.S. Census Bureau. Ron Jarmin, who manages the Census Bureau’s research and methodology programs, says “we do not impose editorial control of the research product.” The agency does make sure that any personal data have been “deidentified” before they are made available to researchers, he adds. But beyond that, he says, the agency “doesn’t have the time and resources” to do such a vetting, nor does it see any need to do so. “As a statistical agency, we value their output,” he says about the collaborations with researchers.Can it be replicated?The IRS says it has a long-standing interest in the scholarly analysis of social mobility as a way to assess tax policy. But some social scientists say that the agency didn’t really recognize the value of outside collaborations until Alan Krueger, a noted Princeton University economist, became chief economist at the Treasury Department in 2009.Krueger, who also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers before returning to Princeton in August 2013, says he supported academic use of the agency’s data. But he doesn’t take credit for the 2011 solicitation. And he notes that tight budgets limit the number of such collaborations. The IRS could do more, he adds, if somebody else footed the bill.“My own view is that the IRS should charge researchers to cover the cost of accessing data, the same way that the Census Bureau does,” Krueger says. (His reference is to the fees charged to researchers who use the agency’s research data centers, a network of 14 secure sites around the country.)Unless and until that happens, however, social scientists will have to be content with applauding Chetty and Saez and dreaming about what they might do if they could get ahold of such data. “For the purposes of measuring intergenerational mobility in the United States, it’s an amazing data set,” Solon says.*Correction, 23 May, 12:41 p.m.: This Insider has been revised to clarify where the federal employee who oversaw the Chetty-Saez research project is employed.*Correction, 27 May: 3:47 p.m.: A reference to a cross section of children used as a sample in the first study has been removed, and information about the two estimates for income used in the second study has been added.See also:The science of inequality It’s Already on File: How Administrative Records Can Help Assess Mobility The IGE: Anatomy of a Mobility Score
Using Facebook makes people sadder, at least according to some research. But just what is it about the social network that takes a hit on our mood? A study of the different ways of interacting with the site now offers an answer: Grazing on the content of other people’s idealized lives may make reality painful.Scientists have long debated Facebook’s impact on users’ in-the-moment mood as well as their deeper satisfaction with life. Some studies have found that the site makes us happier; others, sadder.One of the problems is that most studies were cross-sectional, taking a snapshot of people at one point of time. But that makes it difficult to separate our use of Facebook from the many other factors known to affect well-being, from overwork to romantic meltdowns. An August 2013 study led by Ethan Kross, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, sidestepped this problem by studying people’s use of Facebook over time, surveying them about their well-being five times per day for 2 weeks. The conclusion was that the more you use Facebook, the sadder you get.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)That study generated an enormous amount of attention—and bad press for Facebook—becoming one of the most cited, blogged, and tweeted papers of 2013. But the results offered no clue to what it is about the social network, or how people are using it, that might have this negative effect.Since then, a collaboration of labs including Kross’s has tried to tease apart the mechanisms. Rather than just studying people’s well-being and their use of Facebook over time, the researchers performed an “intervention,” having subjects repeatedly visit a lab in Ann Arbor and use their personal Facebook accounts in specific ways. After all, interaction with Facebook consists of a whole set of activities, from browsing photos and “liking” websites to directly interacting with others through messages and comments.Last week at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in San Francisco, California, Kross shared a sneak preview of his team’s results. Their findings suggest that there is no effect on well-being if one “actively” uses Facebook. When subjects directly interacted with the social network by posting status updates, sharing content, and messaging others, their mood stayed the same over the course of a day. But the negative impact on well-being that Kross discovered in his 2013 study reappeared for individuals who were made to “passively” use the site—just browsing through photographs of other people’s happy moments, reading people’s conversations, and not contributing anything.“Using Facebook is not bad for well-being per se,” Kross concluded, but “grazing” its content is. Possible reasons for this were bounced around by the audience of psychologists. For example, one theory holds that people post idealized versions of themselves on Facebook, and comparing those to your own real-world life is toxic if you don’t take part in the online theater. As for the longer term effect on life satisfaction, “the jury is still out,” he said. (The study is now under review at a journal, Kross says.)“This kind of intervention study is exactly what we need more of,” says Megan Moreno, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Washington who uses Facebook data to study adolescent health and well-being. “What I want to know next is how this negative impact maps to some of the signs of depression we’ve been tracking.” If improving people’s well-being is as easy as encouraging active online interactions and discouraging passive browsing, “that would be amazing.”
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Bucking global efforts to curtail carbon pollution, Australia’s conservative government yesterday abolished a national carbon tax that it had long opposed. The move to “ax the tax”—as Prime Minister Tony Abbott is fond of saying—makes Australia the first country in the world to abolish a functioning carbon pricing scheme.In 2009, Abbott, then leader of the opposition, dismissed climate change as “absolute crap.” The centerpiece of Australia’s Clean Energy Act passed in 2012, the carbon tax required 350 of the nation’s biggest polluters to purchase carbon credits, valued at AU$23 per ton, if they exceeded their allotted targets. At a press conference on Thursday, Abbott hailed the demise of the “useless, destructive tax.”Australian researchers have condemned the move. The tax repeal is a “dereliction of duty with respect to the rights of young people and future generations,” says energy research expert Hugh Outhred of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. “The perfect storm of stupidity,” adds Roger Jones, a specialist in climate change risk and adaptation at Victoria University in Melbourne. Scrapping the tax, he argues, demonstrates a “complete disregard” for the science of climate change. “It’s hard to imagine a more effective combination of poor reasoning and bad policymaking.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The Clean Energy Act led to a “significant and immediate” reduction in Australia’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, says energy analyst Roger Dargaville of the University of Melbourne. He calculates that in 2012, when the carbon price was introduced, emissions from the National Electricity Market were 95 megatons of CO2 per year. They are now running 85 megatons a year.The introduction of the carbon tax, along with Australia’s target of generating 41,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year by 2020, up from 21,000 in 2013, has helped increase renewable energy use and reduce the country’s heavy reliance on coal, Dargaville says. Now that progress is in jeopardy. In February, the government appointed a panel headed by Dick Warburton, the former chair of global fuel giant Caltex, to review the renewable energy target. The government has also introduced legislation to dismantle the Australian Renewable Energy Agency—an independent body established in 2012 to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy—and it is seeking to shutter the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which supports startup companies in the clean energy sector.